Making a Serviceable Quilt on A Shoe String Budget

I’m no expert, but I have been quilting since I’ve been 11 years old, and I’m now 65. I guess that means that I have a little bit of know-how when it comes to making a quilt. Keep the pattern simple, quilts were originally made to keep people warm.

Start by having a color scheme in your mind, find out what the persons favorite color is and go from there. Make sure that all the colors go together, but if they are the ones they like, then the color choice will work. I had a teenage boy who wanted blue, purple and yellow and I questioned (only in my mind) those particular colors, but when it was finished, it looked very nice. After all, they were his favorites, not mine, so that’s all that mattered.

The next part of the process, to decide which kind of material is best for how they want to use their quilt. They might want a more serviceable quilt, so in that case, it needs to be made from a material which can withstand repeated washings. One of my passions is to use materials which would ordinarily be thrown in the garbage. Blue jeans, for example, may not be worn anymore, but they still have some wear in them, so why not use their material for making a quilt? They will stand up to almost any kind of wear and tear.

Making the pattern is the next part, and keep it simple. Buy yourself some grid paper, so you can draw the pattern and have that to refer to, as you sew the pieces together. Have some pencil crayons of different colors and draw the color in the square and that will become your quilt block. Let your imagination go crazy, or copy a pattern from a book. Each square will be a block, so draw the outline of your quilt to the size you want. Remember you will take away some measurement with the seams, so plan on that being taken from your final measure.

Remember, the seams will be thick, so if you are using denim, do not make the pattern too small or intricate. Cut the jean material into whatever size of block you want. Stack them according to the color, follow your grid and then sew them together. The easiest way, is to do a row at a time, marking off each row as you go. When you are finished all the rows, then it is time to start sewing them together.

Pin each block at the seam, so that the join will perfectly line up with each other, right sides together.  Now sew them together. When you have all of them sewn, press the seams flat. Turn the whole thing over and press again on the top side. Pressing is important.

You have now finished your first quilt top. If you don’t have or know someone with a frame, place it on a table, upside down, then put quilt batting on, then the backing material. Flannelette works well with denim. Turn the whole thing over. With a length of crochet cotton, put that into the eye of a darning needle, put the needle through all the layers, then bring it up to the surface. Tie a double knot.

The easiest binding is to bring the backing material to the front, cut to 3″, fold it over the front, and sew it down. Your quilt is finished.
Say! If you’re not into the sewing scene then maybe you are the outdoors types so check this out.

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